Tiny House Project: The beginning
I had this dream about a week ago, it was bad ass! I lived in a tiny little house that had everything I need in it and none of the things I don’t. I woke up and drew up this house, well the basics of it, like the plan…
I was completely inspired by this dream and did a little bit of research, turns out there is a company that actually manufactures these things and they are pretty successful [http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/]. In my dream this wasn’t on a trailer but Tumbleweed Houses have several different houses that are portable. I really like this idea because I can build one of these, save all of my money for a ‘real’ house that would actually fit a family and then when I get there, I can park this baby in the hills and call it a ‘family cabin’. My plan is that I take 12-16 months of my rent and build one of these, live in it for at least 2 years, there is no waste, no paying someone elses mortgage and then in the end I have a community space to be shared with my friends and family. There is no waste, I am all about that. Aside from the economics of it for me it will give me the opportunity to put into practice a lot of theories I have been learning that I do want to incorporate into my final house. I can live there and I can learn the pros and cons of various technologies first hand, I think it can be very good for my knowledge base and give me some of the credibility I feel I am lacking.
So those are some of the pros, I am sure there are plenty of cons too, the list I come up with is where to park it… I see my parent’s property as really my only option since one of the goals is saving money. That can also be considered a pro but the main drawback of that is I loose the downtown living that I love so much [small price to pay for the experience I think, and hey, it’s portable if something else comes up]. Another con is obviously the size, it would be an adjustment for sure [nothing I can’t adapt to]. A porch would definitely be a must. The biggest concern for me right now is the loft for the bed, I hate lofts but being the designer I am I do feel there are ways to design around that. The last think is I have a lot of ‘stuff’, I don’t want to pay to store that ‘stuff’ so I would most likely sell it all. I attach memories to ‘things’ so some of that would be a relief but some of that would be tough [I really don’t think it is a bad idea to get rid of a lot of my excess]
Here is a list of my MUST HAVES if this comes true.
- Must be a space that is COMFORTABLE. It can’t feel cramped and small, I think this is very easily achieved for me on a 20’ x 8’ trailer.
- Must be functional for all of my needs.
- Must be self contained, wired to easily hook up to sources of power, easily hooked up to water, have a logical heat source.
- Must be practical and able to meet the needs of 2 people.
The things I have thought about that might be fun to incorporate, partly for knowledge sake, so that I can really get to know the aspect of a building and how they work, so that when I tell people these things are good I can be speaking from experience, just just theories are as follows.
- A radiant floor heating system.
- A green roof/garden
- composting toilet
- passive designed envelope
- some solar hot water panels (possibly just for a radiant floor system]
- photovoltaic panels
So, one of the house by Tumbleweed is pretty close to exactly what I drew, http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/houses/fencl/. Please take a look if you so choose, these guys do a really great job and have great presentations that hopefully make me look less like a crazy person :). Also, these guys have posted the prices of their houses as well as the prices of the materials if you do it yourself. They list this one at about 23k of material costs but I think I can do it for substantially less considering that their components are all bought new and considering that the trailer alone would run close to 7k and I have found several on Craigslist that are around $1,000. There are several things that I will not buy second hand or make myself [think composting toilet]but there is an awful lot that I can, especially since I have time to figure this out and collect ‘good deals’. The plan, as stated above, is to take 12-16 months rent (rounded to 800 a month), which equals $9,600 – $12,800 and create from scratch my own tiny house… details to come, obviously there are a lot of unanswered questions for me but I am EXCITED! 🙂
‘Think excitement, talk excitement, act out excitement, and you are bound to become an excited person. Life will take on a new zest, deeper interest and greater meaning. You can think, talk and act yourself into dullness or into monotony or into unhappiness. By the same process you can build up inspiration, excitement and surging depth of joy.’
‘It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.’